Security Audit: How to Prepare and Stay Complaint

Businesses of any size must conduct security audits regularly as it helps in protecting the business from being vulnerable to security attacks. A security audit not only protects your data but also helps in detecting the resources that can bring cyber attacks to your business.

We, cyber security experts at LEAP Managed IT will share some important information about preparing for a security audit.

What is a Security Audit?

A detailed evaluation of your organization’s information system is known as a “Security Audit”. This evaluation compares the security of your system to a checklist of industry best practices, standards, or governmental regulations.

It is essential that companies must stick to certain compliance standards. Moreover, you must ensure that these compliance certifications are renewed each year and this can be done when you perform security audits either internally or externally on a regular basis. Furthermore, customers may occasionally request you to audit the security of your company, to ensure the security of their data against attackers.

Security Audit Checklist for Businesses - Leap Managed IT
Security Audit Checklist for Businesses – Leap Managed IT

Prepare Your Business For a Security Audit

The security audit can help improve your business’s cybersecurity system and as well as find flaws that will pave the way for security attacks.

Below are some ways to prepare for your security audit,

1. Find Out the Reason For the Audit

Analyzing the reason for the audit is critical, and some fundamental reasons for security audit could be:

  • Helps in reviewing whether the business is compliant to all necessary regulations and guidelines
  • Helps in identifying the gaps and flaws in the existing system
  • Eliminates vulnerabilities and improving the network’s cybersecurity
  • Evaluates the existing policies

2. Notifying Both Internal and External Stakeholders

It helps everyone in the organization to take steps in advance and prepare for the audit. This step is all about arranging a meeting with your team, assigning roles and responsibilities, and ensuring all the necessary things are taken care of before the audit. Notifying the stakeholders is important because it will help auditors with a better understanding of the company’s policies and procedures.

3. Evaluating Your Inventory

Understanding your organization’s assets and inventory will help you in evaluating your current status and as well as helps in preparing for the audit. Hence, evaluate your inventory to avoid interruptions during the security audit.

4. Review and Cross-Check Your Policies

Your company has a variety of security policies, examine them to ensure that they are in place and consistent. This step will also help in finding outdated policies and keeping them current. If any of your policies are outdated then, it may create interruptions during the security audit.

5. Examine the Outcome of Your Previous Security Audits

Examine your prior records if you have ever undergone an audit. Verify that you have put the previous advice into practice. You can understand all the standards by looking at the results of your previous audits.

6. Prepare a Checklist

Make a list of all the papers and documents you will need for the audit before you begin. This will assist in getting ready for the audit beforehand and centralizing information for simple access. The checklist is effective since it will lessen unnecessary stress for the auditors and the organization throughout the audit.

7. Self-Assessment

Making a self-evaluation before allowing external auditors to access your files and documents is a wise move. Finding security threats and weaknesses in your firm can be aided by conducting an honest and competent internal audit. The outcomes of the self-assessment can then be compared to those of the external audit. Because you already know what to do and can try to rectify the problems before the audit, this situation is less stressful.

Checklist For your Security Audit

Performing a security audit is a way to monitor and evaluate your company’s system. The  checklist below will help you in preparing your company for the audit:

  • Define the scope of the audit – determining the assets that you need to focus on during the audit
  • Determine the threats – making a list of all potential threats
  • Evaluate the current level of security performance – assessing the current level of security performance can identify the weak links
  • Set up configuration scans – can detect security vulnerabilities
  • Reports – keep an eye on the reports as they can generate valuable information
  • Inspect the servers – check for server configuration and monitor DNS for any unexpected changes
  • Run phishing tests– can assess your vulnerability level
  • Penetration testing – locates all access points and removes unauthorized points
  • Monitor firewalls – keep an eye on any inconsistent and unusual behavior in the firewall
  • Share your audit – create transparency with your team by sharing what you have found

Ready for Your Security Audit?

Every organization finds a security audit to be a stressful process. However, it’s also a great chance to upgrade and strengthen your operating and security systems. A security audit will assist in defending your company from threats. So always perform regular security assessments for the sake of your company.

  • Get ready for the audit in advance.
  • Assign roles and duties to the members of your team
  • Examine your security procedures
  • Make a self-evaluation
  • Prepare for the actual audit

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Most Popular Cybersecurity Threats

“See Yourself in Cyber”  This is the Cybersecurity Awareness theme for this year. As we all know, October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, with the intention to help individuals to protect themselves online from cybersecurity threats.

With this in mind, we experts at LEAP are creating cybersecurity awareness by sharing information about the most popular cybersecurity threats that are spreading worldwide due to the growing technology.

Most Popular Cybersecurity Threats That Are Spreading Worldwide

You might be aware of common cybersecurity attacks like phishing, ransomware, malware, and more. The list below  can be considered as another level of security threats that can happen to any business if proper security practices are not followed,

Cybersecurity Threats That Are Spreading Worldwide - Leap ManagedIT

1. Rise of Automotive Hacking

You are aware of the hacking of computers, phones, and personal data or about the leakage of information. What many people are not aware of is, cars are getting hacked. Yes, you read it right. The rise of technology has created a world full of possibilities, where you have the option to choose from a basic model car to one that has cut-edge technology implemented into it. The car is loaded with a variety of software that makes it work. Additionally, these software programs can take control of your car as well as its infotainment system.

The computers communicate using different networks and messaging protocols to connect the engine and control brakes. The touch screen system, integration of your phone to the car for wireless communication, and more. All these sounds to be hi-tech but, did you ever think that these amenities are making your car vulnerable to cyber attacks?

The more the cars are computerized, the more they are open to hackers. Hackers can easily take control of the ECU of your car and gain access to all the information and can even get control of the movement of the car. The possibility of security vulnerabilities occurs when you are connected to the internet.

2. Potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can be suitable for any business strategy. Before starting with artificial intelligence, get to understand its workflow, data collection, and analysis that gets into it. By understanding the methodology behind AI, you can determine how it can be implemented in your industry.

Below are a few examples of how AI can be configured in business,

Chatbot – Chatbots can help businesses to improve their customer service. They can streamline the customer service process by answering the customers’ queries. Chatbots can even handle situations in a more personalized manner and importantly, they are available round the clock.

Product Recommendations – eCommerce businesses can use AI for product recommendations and keep their customers engaged. By understanding customers and recommending products based on their interests and behavior is a very efficient strategy when it comes to an eCommerce space.

Audience Segmentation – AI can be used to segment audiences and send targeted campaigns based on their interests. AIs can also be used for predicting how the users would respond to every campaign.

Identifying Fraud – Using machine learning algorithms, businesses can detect and respond to threats. In the financial industry, tools are used for identifying suspicious transactions. If detecting any risk, the transaction is stopped and an alert is sent to the respective users.

3. Mobile Phone Targeting

With the rise in the usage of mobile phones all around the world, more opportunities are created for hackers to target them and steal private information. Mobile phones are a popular target among cybercriminals as they can be accessed in several ways. People frequently keep downloading applications and software for free, which seems not to be safe and reliable. In addition to this, the majority of people will have applications running in the background without realizing it, and this is one of the entry points for hackers.

It is an advantage for hackers as the usage of emails through mobile phones keeps on increasing, and they use phishing and spam attacks to access mobile phone data. Data leakage on mobile phones occurs when necessary security measures are not implemented. This leads to the exposure of the user’s personal data.

To avoid this, you must allow permissions only when there is an absolute necessity in the application. For example, if you have downloaded an application, it asks for permission to access your camera but, you don’t intend to use it for creating videos then, do not provide the access. If the mobile phone users are granting access for all the requested permissions then, there occurs data leakage as it’s an entry point for the hackers.

4. Cloud Vulnerabilities

Cloud computing has several advantages — it is affordable, and its features make the data available, aiding productivity when compared to the traditional data center. Though most businesses are shifting to cloud services, data security is the key point that needs to be considered. The rise in the usage of cloud services is also increasing its chances of getting vulnerable to cyber attacks. Some popular cloud vulnerabilities are,

  • Cloud Misconfiguration – This occurs when an organization fails to set cloud storage correctly. Unsecure identity management, public data storage, and lack of good security practices are considered to be misconfigurations in cloud computing.
  • Insecure APIs – APIs are required and are made public for businesses. The APIs are implemented without sufficient authentication and authorization, as anybody with the internet can access them. As a result, they become a target for hackers.
  • Lack of Visibility – When businesses use various instances of cloud services, losing of data might be simple. Visibility to see cloud infrastructure is a serious problem that can delay responding to threats and lead to a data breach.
  • Lack of MFA – Multi-factor authentication is always an extra layer of security for your business. When businesses fail to implement this, it is creating an opportunity for hackers to access your data easily.
  • Malicious Insiders – Though you have implemented necessary security measures, malicious insiders like your employees, contractors, or business partners can still be harmful.

5. Data Breaches

Losing information from a system, without authorization is a data breach. Businesses of any level, small or large, or an individual can become a victim of a data breach. The stolen data may involve confidential and sensitive data, such as customer details, credit card details, trade secrets, or even data on national security. Malicious methods like phishing, brute force attack, and malware for breaching the data.

Common methods of a data breach include,

  • A malicious insider
  • Payment card fraud
  • Stolen or lost portable devices
  • Unintended disclosure
  • Unknown

6. Targeted Ransomware

Encrypting the vital data of an individual or an organization, which makes it impossible to access their data. Access will be given on demanding a ransom. In the quest for larger payments, hackers are now starting with targeted ransomware. Here, the hackers apply specific strategies and approaches to target companies, depending on their capacity to pay the ransom. This is termed big game hunting.

The hackers make a thorough analysis of the victim’s weaknesses, and strengths using innovative and considerable efforts. They also chose to encrypt the most valuable data and hold it for ransom. Also, they use privileges to bypass detection and security measures before installing the malware into the business.

Sectors of ransomware are,

  • Education
  • Retail
  • Information Technology
  • Financial Services

7. State-Sponsored Cyber Warfare

States can hire hackers directly by using their militaries and other government agencies and also fund them indirectly. This makes it simpler to disprove the state’s involvement in the discovery of the attack, reducing the diplomatic effects that these attacks may have.

Additionally, it blurs the difference between government and criminal organizations. The state-sponsored organizations then focus on their funders’ enemies for a variety of reasons.

State-sponsored cyber attacks involve,

  • Discovering political secrets, corporate secrets, and technologies
  • Attacking critical companies and their infrastructure
  • Spreading disinformation
  • Simply to check the capability of the attacker

Keep Your Business Secure Today

Though the digital world brings more advancement, the chances of becoming a victim of cyber attacks are also increasing. Hence, you can never keep your data private if you are not following the necessary security measures. If you were not serious about your business’s security, then, it’s time for it. Ensure you maintain good security practices within your organization and among your workforce.

Though security for data cannot be guaranteed in this digital world, getting partnered with a reputed managed service provider can help in securing the network from cyber threats. Either, a managed service provider can help the system before any vulnerabilities occur or can help in retrieving the lost data .

Are you looking for expert guidance in cybersecurity? Services at Leap begin with an IT Master Plan. Our expert team at Leap Managed IT can help in identifying the obstacles and create strategies by understanding the pain points.

Want to learn more about having a sustainable approach to IT? Speak with our Ridiculously Helpful team to learn how we can create a comprehensive roadmap for your technology. Helping Clients in Indianapolis, Carmel, Zionsville, and Greenwood.

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Top 10 Technical Buzzwords for Small Businesses

In this article, we have defined some of the technical buzzwords which are essential to know if you are running a business of any size. Knowing the basics of these technical terms will help you to decide whether to implement it for your business or not. We, the experts at Leap have gathered the most trending tech terms and are sharing them here.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a distributed database/ledger that stores information in a digital format. It is the process of maintaining a decentralized record of transactions in a business network. The key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is the structure of the data. The data entered here is irreversible.

Blockchain collects information in groups called blocks, which contain sets of information. Blocks have a certain amount of storage, and when they are full they are closed and linked to previously filled blocks, creating a chain of data called a blockchain. Any new information following the newly added block will be compiled into a newly formed block and also added to the chain as it fills.

Industries that make use of blockchain technology are:

  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Telecommunications
  • Manufacturing
  • Insurance
  • Financial Services
  • Travel

Chatbot

The chatbot is a software or computer program that stimulates human conversations through text or conversations. This allows users to converse with digital devices as if they were communicating with humans. Chatbots can be used in both B2B and B2C environments, as they can easily handle and virtually assist simple tasks. There are varying levels of complexity in chatbots.

Task-oriented chatbots: Some chatbots approach each conversation and interact with new users. It focuses on performing one function and generates automated, conversational responses to users’ inquiries. These chatbots can handle common queries and do not involve a variety of variables.

Data-driven chatbots: Some analyze previous conversations and frame a new conversation based on the context. These are referred to as digital assistants. Here, the chatbots apply predictive intelligence to enable personalization based on users’ behavior and profile.

Chatbots improve efficiency and bring in cost savings to businesses by offering convenience for customers. This concept here is to reduce human interaction and automate FAQs. Here are a few more chatbot facts:

  • Reduces customers’ waiting time
  • 24/7 availability
  • Automates lead generation and sales
  • Improves customer engagement
  • Better user experience

Datafication

Datafication is all about collective tools, technologies, and processes used to transform an organization into a data-driven enterprise. This buzzword describes the tendency of organizations to define the key to their core business through their global reliance on data and related infrastructure. Datafication is also referred to as Datafy. An organization that practices digitization is said to be digitized.

Industries where datafication is active,

  • Insurance
  • Human Resources
  • Banking
  • Hiring and Recruitment
  • Social Science Research

End Point Detection

EDR is a security tool that continuously detects, analyzes, mitigates, and isolates threats on endpoints as they are progressing. It is becoming a requirement for protecting a company from cyber attacks and APT (advanced persistent threats). The tool works beyond traditional security tools, and its importance is to minimize the damage that could be caused by the attack.

For an organization’s cyber security strategy, endpoint security is an essential component. The EDR, with its tools and security analysts feature, can efficiently identify threats to protect your business.

EDR is quite different from traditional security tools in terms of completeness. The advanced security solution logs all the activities performed at the endpoints. Thus, helping with an in-depth understanding of the attack and generating a quick response to eliminate the threats.

The importance of EDR is as follow:

  • Provides full visibility regarding the status of the network’s endpoints
  • Also, EDR is capable of automating data collection and response activities
  • It also allows the security team to perform a rapid investigation of any security incident and take steps to rectify them
  • EDR allows threat hunters in identifying and investigating the activities of an existing infection

Gamification

Gamification is the process of adding game mechanics to environments like websites, online communities, learning management systems, or any business intranet. The main objective of gamification is to make consumers, and employees engage, collaborate, and interact. Gamification with its implementation of game mechanics and dynamics would help in the accomplishment of business objectives and goals.

A compelling gamification program would make the participants more interactive as they receive immediate feedback on performance and guide towards new achievements. Gamification is all about driving engagement and the participants would learn the best way to interact with your business, services, and brand. This can also help in gaining some insightful data which could help to influence marketing, campaigns, and more. Every interaction can help in understanding the participant’s behavior and the time they spend on the activities that they are interested in.

Business can improve their results through the concept of gamification, and some of them are:

  • Increases problem solving ability
  • Increases level of engagement
  • Employees will be more productive
  • Better performances and strive to reach business goals
  • Calculated and rational business decisions
  • Social Strengthening

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that would give computers the ability to learn without explicitly being programmed. It is the ability of a machine to stimulate human behavior. Behind the scenes of chatbots, language translational tools, autonomous vehicles, and machines that diagnose medical conditions is machine learning.

Machine learning is all about data like numbers, images, text, and more. The data could be bank transactions, pictures of people/products, sales reports, and more. Here, the data is collected and prepared to be used as training data. The more data, the better the program.

Functions of machine learning are,

  • Descriptive – the data is used to explain what happened
  • Predictive – the data is used to predict what will happen
  • Prescriptive – the data is used to give suggestions and what needs to be done next

Why implement machine learning?

  • Helps in analyzing customers’ behavior and predicting based on their purchase list/browser history
  • Guides with predictive maintenance can reduce the risk associated with unexpected failures and expenses
  • Eliminates manual entry data
  • Neural networks can detect spam and phishing messages
  • Used for financial analysis
  • Can help with product recommendations for e-commerce business
  • Medical diagnosis can help the healthcare industry
  • Increases customer satisfaction
10 Best Technical Buzzwords for Small Businesses - Leap Managed IT
10 Best Technical Buzzwords for Small Businesses – Leap Managed IT

MSP

A managed service provider (MSP) is an external business that administers and takes on the accountability of a specified range of daily management services for its clients. Large enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments all use it as a strategic approach of enhancing operations. Many organizations make the strategic decision of outsourcing operational processes, due to the efficiencies and expertise such a program brings.

When engaging with a managed service provider, you can retain overall managerial authority and accountability for the operations being outsourced. Additionally, you have complete control over whatever services you choose to administer internally versus externally.

The MSP will take care of complicated, and time-consuming work that is frequently required. As more businesses begin to understand the advantages of handing over many of their daily operations to a third-party specialist, outsourcing to an MSP is starting to become a more popular trend in business. Some of the popular functions that a managed service provider are:

  • Network Security
  • IT Support
  • Network Administrator
  • Data Backup
  • Communication
  • Human Resources

The benefits of engaging with a managed service provider are,

  • Allows employees to focus on the core objectives
  • Moreover, businesses can hire the required team at a flat monthly rate
  • Maintains a strategic relationship with your solutions for additional savings
  • Helps businesses to shift from capital expense model to operational expense model
  • Responses to demand in real-time hence, it can easily handle downtime
  • Provides expert backup and disaster recovery plan to bring your business back online
  • MSPs are 24/7/365 available
  • Partners with your legal team to verify whether the maintenance security and compliance regulations

Phishing

Phishing is said to be the most widespread and common cyber security attack. Here, the hackers use a false identity to enter and scheme users to provide confidential and sensitive information, visit malware pages and download malware.

It is a form of social engineering attack where the users are targeted through email, text messages, and social media accounts. Signs of phishing attacks are an odd sense of messaging, and unusual requests for sensitive information.

How to prevent your business from phishing attacks:

  • Beware of unusual emails and messages with unusual wording
  • Be cautious about the links that you receive through emails and messages
  • Incorporate anti-phishing toolbars as it would help in identifying sites with phishing information
  • Cloud-based email security providers can also protect you from phishing attacks

Open Source

Open source is generally referred to as Open Source Software. It is the source code that is publicly accessible. Anyone can view, modify, inspect, and distribute the code as they see fit.

Open source software has been developed in a decentralized and collaborative manner, it is quite cheaper, flexible, and has more longevity. These are developed by communities rather than by a single company or author.

Reasons why businesses use open source software:

  • Easily accessible
  • Allows to check and track all the activities happening in the code
  • Very reliable
  • Affordable and flexibility
  • Open collaboration

VPN

A VPN is a tool that adds protection and privacy by creating secure connections between user devices and servers. Businesses also utilize VPN because it enables a more secure connection to a company’s internal network. When utilizing the internet from a shared connection, offers more privacy and security.

A safe and encrypted internet connection is first established via a VPN. This implies that any data you transmit or receive via a VPN is secure from hackers. Sending a coded message is similar to how encryption operates. Your data is changed from an understandable format to an unintelligible one when you use encryption technology. The only people who can restore the data to its original state are those who have the encryption key, like those logged into the secret network.

Second, your IP address is concealed from the rest of the internet once you’ve connected to a VPN server. When your IP address is concealed, it is much more difficult for malicious users to connect your online behavior to a specific place or device. Tracing your encrypted data back to the source would be impossible, even if it were intercepted and decoded by a third party.

The importance of connecting through a VPN:

  • Helps in hiding private information
  • Avoid data and bandwidth throttling
  • Allows to access region-blocked services
  • Provides network stability
  • Reduces long-distance phone charges

Our experts hope, this article helps you to understand the latest technical terms that are essential for a business.

Are you looking for expert guidance for implementing the latest technologies for your business? Our expert team at Leap Managed IT can help in identifying the obstacles and create strategies by understanding the pain points.

Cyber Security Fundamentals For a Managed Service Provider

As MSPs, you want to give your clients the best services that include the security of their data and up-to-date maintenance of their systems. In this article, we experts at Leap will be sharing some fundamentals of cybersecurity that are essential to be followed and maintained to keep your clients secure and protected.

Why Cyber Security is Important For Managed Service Providers?

Due to the evolving cyberattacks, cybersecurity has become a major concern for a business. The increase in remote work has accelerated the rise of cyberattacks as mostly a poor attitude toward security is developed in the environment. If you are a managed service provider, you might be dealing with a large sum of sensitive data. Then you would be the prime target for the hackers. If necessary precautions are not implemented, then the impact can be devastating.

Here comes the importance of cybersecurity for an MSP. Implementing the right cybersecurity program will help keep your clients on top of cybersecurity practices.

CyberSecurity Threat Statistics - Comptia

Source: Comptia

Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Managed Service Providers

Below are the basics of cybersecurity that need to be covered by a managed service provider.

Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Managed Service Providers

Network Security

This is referred to as the comprehensive system through which an organization or an individual can access and store data. It is essential that all the devices connected to the internal network are secured against malicious attacks. The term devices here will include laptops, computers, printers, switches, routers, and more. Encouraging the best security practices both internally and externally will help in maintaining the security of the organization.

Detection and Prevention

Implementing methodologies and tools for detecting can help in preventing the system from malicious attacks. The legitimate actors can make use of the same tools and methods as the hackers use for detecting and closing vulnerabilities. Utilizing tools like anti-virus software and other broader services from security operations, and setting continuity plans, can help in detecting and preventing your system from malicious attacks to a particular extent.

Cybersecurity Strategy for Each Client

You may have various types of tools on your tech stack for various purposes. Do you think it is possible for your team to monitor and handle all these tools simultaneously?
To avoid complications, it is better to break down tools depending on their purposes. Conducting a cybersecurity assessment on your pre-sales tool kit would help in understanding your client’s requirements right from the beginning. This would not only help you in defining strategy for each client but also helps in identifying the right tool for the right purpose.

Keep a Log of the Backed Up Data

Being an IT service provider, you will be dealing with data that would also include your clients’ data. When the data is lost, it could be a disaster. In case your network is breached then, you won’t be able to help your customers. Here you can back up your data and keep a log of it so that you can retrieve it whenever required.

Advise Your Clients to Keep Their Network and Devices Protected

Usage of strong passwords is essential, and it is a very basic step that you take when it comes to cybersecurity. Make use of the websites and apps that can help you in creating complex passwords and as well as manage them. Encourage your clients as well as your workforce to utilize those tools and the universal password policy to protect their data. In addition to this, implement the concept of multi-factor authentication, which would add an extra layer of protection to the system.

BYOD and WFH Policies

Anything/anyone that uses corporate resources would increase the risk of data breaches. In this case, ensure any device connected is secure with adequate security protections. Additionally, when it comes to remote work policies, insist your workforce access your network by signing in using VPN. This would protect your network from being vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Mistakes that MSPs MakeWith cybersecurity

Below are a few common mistakes that managed service providers make when it comes to cybersecurity,

  • Managed service providers usually have a tendency that tools are more than enough to bring in more clients. Here, you have to start by understanding the client’s pain points. You have to make the clients the impotence of cybersecurity relating to them
  • Focusing just on tools and keep repeating the same strategy for any security issues. Not all security issues are the same, hence, every problem would require a unique solution. Start focusing on the solutions that would work best for the situations. This will help you to concentrate on the client’s requirements and develop a better plan
  • Never get too technical with your clients. As your clients are not cybersecurity experts, always talk to your clients in such a way that they understand the importance of implementing cybersecurity. Also mention to them ways to deter those threats

Unleash the Perks Of Cybersecurity

Though security for data cannot be guaranteed in this digital world, getting partnered with a reputed managed service provider can help in securing the network from cyber threats. Either, a managed service provider can help the system before any vulnerabilities occur or can help in retrieving the data if it gets breached.

Are you looking for expert guidance in cybersecurity? Services at Leap begin with an IT Master Plan. Our expert team at Leap Managed IT can help in identifying the obstacles and create strategies by understanding the pain points.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity solutions? Speak with our Ridiculously

Helpful team to learn how we can create a comprehensive solution. We also partner with CompTIA for cybersecurity training.

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What is an IT Master Plan ?

A Master IT plan is a concept of understanding the current system, defining the strategies, and developing a road map to the targeted achievement. Defining an organization’s strategic target is an efficient way to achieve its goals.

In this article, we will learn how Leap Managed IT can offer Ridiculously Helpful Managed IT support for the well-being of a business.

Leap’s Managed IT Services

Imagine John Doe handles everything under the security desk of your organization. He is the one who fixes when everything goes wrong, protects all your systems. Don’t you think this would be quite a hassle and even items can fall through cracks if John is managing it single-handedly?

This is the situation evolving in most organizations. A single person managing everything will leave your organization vulnerable to security breaches and other system problems. This is where the option of outsourcing a managed IT service provider comes into the picture. Leap Managed IT is a one-stop solution for all IT services as their team offers ridiculous support for your IT needs, allowing you to focus on your core business.

Every organization is different and everyone has their own frustrations, requirements, and goals. Leap’s IT services identify what is yours and design a plan addressing each of them. The team of experts from Leap understands your struggles, evaluates your system/policies, and comes up with an IT Master Plan  and solution to help you in achieving your goals.

IT Master Plan Solutions - Leap Managed IT

The Process at Leap Managed IT

An overview of Leap’s process of developing an IT Master Plan,

IT Master Plan Process - Leap Managed IT

Assess:

  • Schedule a consultation to understand your current IT status
  • Perform complete IT audit and analyzes hardware, software, and infrastructure
  • Conduct analysis and provide a report on your current IT status, including security threats, network problems, server problems, and other related issues
  • Offer recommendations that will help improve your efficiency and operations

Develop:

  • Create a roadmap addressing the challenges mentioned in the audit
  • Create a technology environment to keep you in a controlled state, so that you will be focusing on your improvements and evaluation

Implement:

  • Help to keep your technology and business ahead of the curve
  • Either you can own the IT plan or Leap can implement it for you
  • Schedule an initial review, 30 days after going live
  • Monthly or quarterly reviews are scheduled to ensure that we are aligned your technology needs to that of your goals, strategy, and budget

Below is the workflow that Leap follows during the development of an IT Master Plan for a business.

Initial Consultation

At Leap, the team schedules an initial consultation with you and any other critical resource from your business. During the consultation, the team learns about the struggles and frustrations that your business is facing. Knowing and learning the root causes of the problem would help in coming up with an effective solution. In addition to this, the team also makes an effort to learn and understand your business goals to have a clear idea in developing a suitable plan for your business.

Onsite Evaluation

After the consultation session, the team takes it further to the evaluation of your IT infrastructure. Here, they will conduct an assessment of your network, devices, and security to identify any vulnerabilities. After the evaluation of the overall infrastructure, the team also reviews your compliance policies and business continuity plan. This would help the team to have a clear idea of what action needs to be implemented for the well-being of your business.

IT Master Plan Development

Once the analysis of security vulnerabilities, weaknesses, security risks, and business targets are completed, the team develops a customized IT blueprint tailoring your business needs. Furthermore, the Leap team will also come up with recommendations on hardware, software, and processes.

IT Master Plan Meeting and Implementation

Finally, the team calls up for a discussion on the vulnerabilities and solutions. Here, the aim of the discussion is to review the IT Master Plan developed and implementation for your business. You can either opt for Leap Managed IT to implement the plan, or Leap can just hand it off to you.

What Can You Expect From Leap Managed IT?

Your business can experience the below if you are hiring Leap Managed IT for managing your IT services,

  • They thoroughly understand your business with the goal of learning
  • Performs an in-depth analysis to understand your IT frustrations and identify any threats, concerns, and vulnerabilities
  • Identify areas that require improved security measures
  • The team takes care of the managed IT services completely, monitors and also addresses threats and changes if any
  • Effective communication throughout the entire organization

Are you looking for expert guidance in developing an IT Master plan for your business? Services at Leap begin with an IT Master Plan. Our expert team at Leap Managed IT can help you identify the obstacles, create an IT blueprint, and grow your business.

Want to learn more about having a sustainable approach to IT? Speak with our Ridiculously

Helpful team to learn how we can create a comprehensive roadmap for your technology. This will help keep you on track while you focus on enhancing your business.

See how we help businesses in the Indianapolis area with all their managed IT needs. It all starts with our Master Plan. Click Here to watch, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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Do I Need a Server or Cloud Storage for My Business

Data is something crucial for a business, and when it comes to its storage and maintenance, it is quite complex to choose the right server. Many businesses are migrating from traditional data centers (on-site servers) to cloud storage because of their accessibility and security. Hence, it is important to know the difference between “on-site” and “cloud server” to decide on the right server for your business.

In this article, we, at LEAP Managed IT, are going to share all the necessary information regarding on-site and cloud storage by making a comparison of some crucial features that exist on both storage systems. This may help you to select a suitable storage platform for your business.

The cloud computing market is estimated to amount to 832.1 billion dollars by 2025

 

In 2022, spending on data center systems is expected to amount to 227 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 4.7 percent from the previous year.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is about storing data on the internet through a cloud storage provider. It is the cloud computing model that helps businesses to back up and access their data through software that runs via the internet. This installs and maintains all business data, software, hardware, and all other supporting infrastructure in the data center.

What is an On-Site Server?

Here, businesses store their data on the servers hosted within the organization; in most cases, it would be a physical one. The on-site server is administered, controlled, and maintained by the organization’s in-house IT team or would outsource an IT support provider for the maintenance of the server.

Cloud Storage Vs On-Site Server

Cloud Storage vs On-Site Server - Leap Managed IT

On-Site Server Cloud Storage
Security

  • Businesses have a thought that keeping everything on-site gives them more control but, provides limited access.
  • The business is completely responsible to implement a high-level security system for monitoring and maintaining all the physical assets as well as the network.
  • It would also require the need for security tools, security access control and of course, in-house time and money.
Security

  • Cloud storage helps in taking the burden off your business in terms of security.
  • Businesses would suffer lesser security incidents when compared to traditional methods.
  • The cloud storage providers are equipped with multi-layered security data redundancy, access control systems, suspicious login, activity monitoring, and more.
  • The cybersecurity experts can help in protecting the business data and assets.
  • Though security breaches can happen, the business can eliminate them as the security experts can handle it efficiently.
Data Backup

  • When businesses use on-site servers, an internal storage system is used for storing the data, which creates a higher possibility of losing data in any situation.
  • Businesses always need to keep an off-site backup to avoid data loss.
  • Some organizations use cloud storage as a data protection strategy in addition to on-site servers.
Data Backup

  • Businesses using cloud storage are more secure.
  • Cloud storage is built with features that help in avoiding data loss along with features like data redundancy, backup, monitoring, and more.
  • It also has faster recovery methods when compared to the on-site servers
Scalability

  • On-sites servers are not capable of handling the evolving workloads. Hence, businesses need to look for expanding resources like software, hardware, memory, and more for handling the workload.
Scalability

  • Cloud storage with its built-in features is capable of scaling the workloads based on certain metrics. It is more flexible as it is also equipped with auto-scaling functionality.
Accessibility

  • When businesses are accessing sizeable data, an on-site server would be the better choice.
  • When it comes to handling situations like natural disasters, remote access would be essential and this can overwhelm the VPN system.
Accessibility

  • Cloud storage allows the workforce to access any data from anywhere via the internet.
  • This is one of the convenient features of cloud storage, as the users need not rely on a VPN system for accessing data. It also offers reliable file sharing and version control.
Reliability

  • The on-site server will be completely available without any connection but will be accessible only to employees who work on-site.
  • This would require power, backup power, and backup storage which will add to your cost.
Reliability

  • A reliable and fast internet connection is required to access data in the cloud.
  • A delay in the connection or a break in connectivity can slow down the operations.
  • An internet backup is essential to overcome certain situations.
Compliance

  • Must have proper maintenance and configurations in your system to have proper compliance, as well as must assign the right employees and resources.
  • If anything goes wrong, the business is completely responsible as it owns the storage.
Compliance

  • The compliance burden is taken care of by the team of experts offered by the cloud service provider.
  • Businesses should ask for compliance certificates in case of any shortage.
Cost and Maintenance

  • Large upfront capital investment when it comes to on-site infrastructure.
  • Requires investment in hardware, installation, software licensing, backup, additional IT support, and more.
  • Investment required for IT support team, whether it is an in-house team or outsourced.
  • Requires purchase of frequent updates on the software, hardware, license renewal purchase, and more.
  • At the time of malfunction, there will be scenarios where you might have to replace or upgrade with new equipment.
Cost and Maintenance

  • Less investment when compared to on-site servers.
  • Cloud storage is indeed available in various monthly subscription plans.
  • Maintenance, software updates, security, and support are all taken care of by the cloud service provider and businesses need not take that burden.
  • As the market has various cloud service providers, the cost of the subscription plans may vary. So, before you choose one, give a good analysis and compare the services offered by each provider under each plan.

Want to Go for a Hybrid One?

A hybrid solution allows switching data and applications between on-site servers and cloud servers. Also, help in creating great flexibility with more deployment options. Using the hybrid solution, you can manage sensitive assets in on-site servers and other files/documents in the public cloud. Though hybrid solutions can bring in benefits, it is just temporary solution. Depending on the size, data and assets, select the best storage solution for your business.

Are you looking for expert guidance on selecting the best storage option for your business? Visit our website, Leap Managed IT.

Want to learn more about having a sustainable approach to IT? Speak with our Ridiculously Helpful team to learn how we can create a comprehensive roadmap for your technology. Hence, this will help keep you on track while you focus on growing your business.

See how we help businesses in the Indianapolis area with all their managed IT needs. It all starts with our Master Plan. Click Here to watch, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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Cyber Security Layers & Cyber Security Threats Complete Guide

Cyber attacks are evolving as the technology is improving. Hence, it is essential to protect the data and devices connected to your network with cybersecurity. Without a well-defined cybersecurity program, it is hard for organizations to withstand any types of cyber attacks. This would eventually make your organization an inescapable target for the cyber criminals.

In this article, we, at LEAP Managed IT, are going to share all the necessary information on cybersecurity, different types of cyber attacks and ways to prevent them. Indianapolis cybersecurity experts at LEAP Managed IT are here to help in framing a suitable cybersecurity plan for your organization.

What is CyberSecurity?

Cybersecurity is a practice adopted by organizations and individuals to protect their data and computerized system from unauthorized access. It helps in providing a good security posture that would help in preventing your data from malicious attacks. It is difficult for an organization to survive without the implementation of a cybersecurity plan.

Importance of CyberSecurity

Cybersecurity is on the rise due to evolving cyber threats. It is a proven fact that whether it’s an individual/business, it can no longer entirely rely on security solutions like antivirus software, and firewalls as cybercriminals are getting smarter. Cyber threats can affect any level of organization, hence, it is essential to cover cybersecurity in every aspect. Data leaks could be identity theft, sensitive information, payment information and more. Hence, implementing a powerful cybersecurity plan must be made mandatory to keep your business secure.

CyberSecurity Layers

The International Standard Organization, by realizing the needs for standardization in computer networks, developed the OSI model. The OSI model has 7 layers of cybersecurity that represents the interconnection between various layers on a network.

Cyber Security Layers - Leap Managed IT

Mission Critical Assets

This layer would contain the operating system, electronic recorder, software tools, financial records and cloud infrastructure. It is anything that your business would find it difficult to survive without its existence.

Data Security Layer

Data is the ultimate target when it comes to cyber crime. This is the most crucial layer as it contains data that is dependent on your business. It can include information like customer details, payment information, social security numbers, and any other sensitive information. Losing this data disturbs the trust your customers have in your business. It is necessary to keep things safe at this level using regular backups, implementing 2FA, disk encryption and more such secure processes.

Application Layer

This layer is all about the applications and software that are being used by your business. Ensure that the software and applications are always updated to keep things moving securely, and this also helps in fixing the security problems. In addition to this, there are applications with firewalls integrated, usage of sandboxes for browser based applications and also the implementation of restricted policies for software which help in preventing unauthorized access from penetrating your business.

End Point Layer

Any device that is connected to your network is referred to as an endpoint, and there are many. It’s critical to have an effective policy in place to manage and monitor these endpoint devices. At this level, encryption is crucial, to make sure that the devices themselves are operating in secure environments. Another crucial component of endpoint security is mobile device management (MDM). It gives you remote access to devices while also limiting access to specific devices on your network. To stop further damage, this feature can be used to lock down mobile devices and erase all of their data.

Network Layer

This layer is all about who and what devices are connected to your network. It also includes what can be accessed when inside your system. To protect this layer, ensure to provide access to employees and devices only that requires it. This would help in limiting the damage caused by human error and will also reduce the impact on the compromised devices.

Perimeter Layer

This is the outer layer of the network and is all about considering everything that is connected and has access to your data. Get to know how this layer looks and ensure to secure everything that is connected – data and devices and make it a secure zone for an additional layer of protection.

Human Layer

Human error seems to be the driving force behind the majority of cyber attacks that are evolving. Researchers have found that nearly 88% of data breaches have occurred due to employee mistakes. It is the weakest layer, and to secure it, user education is essential. Educating your employees and users on the benefits of well-structured cybersecurity practices can bring in drastic changes to your business.

Different types of CyberSecurity Threats

Some of the most common cyber threats are,

Malware Attacks

One of the most serious cyber threats. Hackers create malware, or malicious software, to encrypt data, steal or delete it, take over a computer’s essential operations, and even monitor user activity. This gets distributed through physical drives, USB external drives and even through internet downloads.

Phishing Attacks

The most frequent and widespread cyberattacks. Here, hackers enter using a fake identity to trick users to give them sensitive and private information, visiting malware pages and downloading malware. Signs of phishing attacks are: odd sense of messaging, unusual request for sensitive information.

Weak Passwords

Another major risk to any business is the use of passwords that are weak and simple to guess. Small and medium-sized businesses typically have multiple accounts for different cloud-based services. Using the same password across several accounts is comparable to making the data vulnerable to hacking. Having weak login credentials would make the cyber criminals penetrate and access data easily.

Insider Threats

This threat occurs due to action caused by members within the organization. Here, these members get access to critical data which can cause harmful effects through ignorance and carelessness. Employees having access to multiple accounts may put the organization at risk, causing financial damage.

Ransomware

Every year, thousands of businesses are victims of ransomware, a profitable type of cyberattack. In this case, the hacker encrypts business files or data and demands a ransom. This attack spreads through phishing emails or by visiting websites with malware.

Social Engineering

Here, the leakage of confidential information is, due to human error. This is the biggest security threat today. Through this attack, hackers manipulate users into breaking standard security procedures. This attack is mostly carried out in the form of email phishing.

Accidental Sharing

Accidental sharing is always a threat, and it happens whenever information sharing takes place accidentally. It’s not due to malware or hackers. This occurs due to human error. Hence, this can happen through any medium. Any data shared accidentally when misused would create a negative impact on your business.

Tips to Prevent Cyber Attacks

  • Create strong passwords
  • Ensure to use a proper password management would help in handling passwords efficiently
  • Implement two-factor or multifactor authentication
  • Use spam filters and beware of email attachments
  • Beware of suspicious links
  • Keep your software updated
  • Make use of secure Wi-Fi connections
  • Keep your software and applications always updated
  • Train your employees on social engineering attacker
  • Create cybersecurity awareness through user education
  • Secure mobile devices
  • Have a backup and disaster plan
  • Do not share passwords, access codes, or any digital data with someone you never know
  • Never share confidential data through emails

Get Secured Today

Every day, businesses of all sizes are exposed to a variety of threats. The best thing a company can do to defend against threats is to put in place thorough security measures and to educate its employees about cybersecurity. This would guarantee that everyone connected to your company works with a consciousness about security threats and respective defense strategies.
To know more about cybersecurity from our experts in Leap, click here.

Are you looking for expert guidance on cybersecurity threats and their prevention methods? Visit our website, Leap Managed IT. We can help you with the best solutions by understanding your requirements. In the same way, we handle Managed I.T, phone, Process Automation, and more. Like us on Facebook and get more Ridiculously Helpful tips for your business.

To learn more about LEAP Managed IT, check out this video.

Phishing Attacks and Ransomware, What to look out for

Data is all around you and if you don’t secure it your business is prey to the evolving cyber attacks in the digital world. Security is something crucial for a business to maintain its reputation. If you are lethargic about securing your business’s data like confidential information, customer details, security numbers, or any other sensitive information then, you have the greatest chance for a cyber attack.

In this article, we Indianapolis LEAP Managed IT will share all necessary information about phishing and ransomware attacks along with some real-time examples. This will help you find ways to protect your business from malware.

It is estimated that, worldwide, cyber crimes will cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

 

What are Phishing Attacks?

Phishing attack is a type of cyber attack where malicious messages/emails seem to be coming from a reputed source. Here, the goal of the cybercriminals is to manipulate users and make them click any malicious link, share any sensitive information like bank details/credentials, or install any malicious files. It is said to be the most widespread and common cyber security attack.

Users are becoming a target through social media accounts, text messages, and emails in this type of social engineering attack. Odd messaging patterns and unusual requests for sensitive information are indicators of phishing attacks.

Phishing has the involvement of 36% in breaches

 

Threats of Phishing Attacks

Many users and organizations are victims of phishing attacks, which has resulted in irreversible damages.

  • Revealing sensitive information like login credentials and bank details
  • Users click on the malicious link as the attackers disguise themselves to be a reputed source
  • At times, the stolen login credentials could be of an employee, which the cybercriminals can use for advanced attack against the company

Types of Phishing with Examples

Phishing Types Examples
Spear Phishing:
This targets specific organizations or individuals to get their login credentials.
Using spear phishing, an attacker attempted to target a worker of Virgin Media subsidiary NTL World. The attacker stated that a new employee handbook needed to be signed by the victim. This was done to tempt them into clicking a link that would have required them to provide sensitive information.
Vishing:
This is the short form of “Voice Phishing” and the attack happens through a phone call. The cybercriminal steals the information through call
The members of the UK parliament became a target in 2019 with a vishing campaign
Email phishing:
The hacker would send emails that would look legitimate and trick the victim to share the information to steal the data
At Sony, hackers used LinkedIn to get information from the employees by sending phishing emails. In this attack they collected over 100 terabytes of data
HTTPS phishing:
Here, the hacker would send an email with the link to a fake website. Using the fake website, the cyber criminal collects the victim’s private information.
The group “Scarlet Window” will look for employee emails of various companies and target them using HTTPS phishing

Ways to Prevent Phishing Attacks

Ways to Prevent Phishing Attacks - Leap managed IT

What is a Ransomware attack?

Ransomware is a lucrative form of malware attack, where the hacker locks, encrypts the victim’s data/files and then demands for a ransom to decrypt the data. This attack spreads through phishing emails or by visiting websites with malware. This would lead the company to go through heavy financial losses.

Types of Ransomware attack

Crypto Ransomware Locker Ransomware
Crypto ransomware encrypts the victim’s files/data and leaves it unusable. Here, the hacker demands a ransom from the user for the data decryption Locker ransomware doesn’t encrypt the files whereas it locks the victim out of the device. Here, the cybercriminal would demand for a ransom to unlock the device

Few strains of the ransomware attack,

Ransomware is 57x more destructive in 2021

 

Ryuk – Ryuk is responsible for more than one-third of the ransomware attacks that happened in 2020. It was targeting hospitals, companies, and government municipalities with lots of damage. The attack encrypts important files and demands ransom in multi-millions.

Bad Rabbit – Bad Rabbit has affected many organizations in Russian and Eastern Europe. This ransomware attack distribution was through Adobe Flash update on the compromised websites with a demand of 0.5 bitcoins as ransom.

Locky – This distribution of this malware is through email in the disguise of an invoice. When the user opens the email, the invoice will scramble and the victim enables a macro in order to read the document. Hence, Locky starts to encrypt the files using AES encryption.

NotPetya – This is not malware instead, it’s a wiper that destroys all the data of the compromised machine instead of demanding ransomware.Petya – Petya encrypts the entire system. It blocks the operating system by overwriting the master boot record.

Threats in Ransomware attacks

When an organization becomes a prey to a ransomware attack, it could experience the following threats,

  • One of the biggest threats would be a financial loss
  • Loss of customer data and confidential information
  • The encrypted files during the attack may go useless
  • Data loss is another big threat
  • Compromising business reputation

Ways to Prevent Ransomware attack

  • Ensure to keep your software up-to-date
  • Train your employees to identify any kind of suspicious emails/messages
  • Ensure to have a secure backup of all your data
  • Secure your system’s network by investing in penetration test
  • Set up firewalls
  • Implement powerful web security solutions

US Based Companies – Who Have Been Attacked in the Recent Months

71.1 million people fall victim to cyber crimes yearly

 

Shields Healthcare Group Breach – June 2022

The Shields Healthcare Group has disclosed that they detected a breach. The stolen records included names, medical records, security numbers and other sensitive information. They couldn’t find any evidence of using the stolen data for any theft. Hence, it has the higher possibility of misusing it in the future.

Capital One Breach – June 2022

A former Amazon employee was convicted in June 2022 for being involved in the Capital One Breach that occurred in 2019. The hacker has stolen the personal information of about 100 million people. Hence, the hacker was sentenced to 45 years in prison. The company Capital One has paid out a fine of $80 million and an additional amount of $190 million in the lawsuit.

Customers of Data Breach Notified by Flagstar Bank – June 2022

The attack occurred during Dec 2021. Flagstar identified the breach by June 2022 and notified the customers of the data breach. The hackers have stolen the social security numbers of nearly around 1.5 million customers. Now, the company has hired a cyber security team to normalize things after notifying law enforcement regarding the breach.

Texas Department of Insurance – May 2022

The state audit after their investigations have revealed that data has been leaked from the Texas Department of Insurance in May 2022. During the breach, data like social security numbers and other sensitive information of nearly 1.8 million has been compromised. Later, the auditors stated that the data hasn’t been used by unauthorized users.

Microsoft Gets Breached by Lapsus$ Group – March 2022

The Lapsus$ group posted a screenshot saying that they have breached Microsoft in their Telegram channel. They took a screenshot inside Azure DevOps, a Microsoft collaboration tool, with the confirmation that Bing, Cortana, and other projects are subjected to the breach.

Later, Microsoft made a confirmation that only one account has been hacked, and the security team was able to stop the attack before the hacker group was able to penetrate deep into the organization.

What You Should Look For – Phishing or Ransomware Attacks?

Whether it is an individual or an organization, the term “Cyber Attack” is vulnerable. It is important to keep your data and business secure to handle any kind of situation. You must ensure to take precautions before the business becomes a target to the cybercriminals but, you must also be preparing to face any worst case scenario. Make sure you have prepared your business and employees to bring back your business even after the impact of a malware attack.

Henceforth, whether it is a phishing or ransomware attack, you must look for ways to fight against it. Implement all necessary steps to bring back your business and as well as to protect it from future attacks. The most crucial steps are to create awareness among your employees and to train your cyber security team to face the situations.

You can also hire a powerful and well-trained cyber security team in Indianapolis from service providers like LEAP Managed IT. We, at LEAP Managed IT, can help you in running your business securely and also provide steps and safeguards to protect your business from any kind of cyber attacks. We can help you with the best solutions by understanding your needs and business.

Also, we handle Managed I.T, phone, Process Automation and more. Like us on Facebook and get more ridiculously helpful tips for your business.

To know more about LEAP Managed IT, check out this video.

Understanding Business Continuity

A Business continuity plan is all about handling any kind of business disruption effectively. The plan will have various response strategies to tackle any major/minor disruptions with respect to business needs.

In this article, we Indianapolis LEAP Managed IT will share  information about what is business continuity and how it helps in recovery during disruption or disaster.

What is Business Continuity?

Business continuity is advance planning and preparation that are processed to ensure that the organization is capable of handling its functions even during the time of any emergency situation.

Business continuity is all about advance planning and preparation to insure processes are in place and capable of handling its functions even during the time of any emergency situations. The situations could be a natural disaster, pandemic, or any kind of situation that would affect the business functionalities or operations. Every business needs  to prepare  to withstand any kind of these situations that would stop the functionalities completely.

96% of companies with a trusted backup and disaster recovery plan were able to survive ransomware attacks

What does a Business Continuity Plan Include?

A robust business continuity plan will help your business to react confidently during disruption. This would also help in developing confidence within the team and reduce recovery timescales.

Hence, a business continuity plan will be equipped with the following,

  • Business impact analysis would identify potential risks and vulnerabilities both inside and outside the business and the business continuity plan is completely based on this analysis
  • The risk could be anything, any natural disaster or a major IT disruption but, it is vital that you should be capable of taking steps to prevent or reduce risks
  • The business continuity plan evaluates all possible consequences that would occur in your business and would also calculate the cost, effect, and recovery time
  • The business continuity plan can develop an appropriate response strategy based on the risks identified through the business impact analysis
  • The plan will also have details like, what action needs to be taken and who needs to be involved in the implementation of every action
  • The business plan clearly identifies and defines the roles and responsibilities of the person who needs to be involved in the response of the disruption
  • Effective communication is essential during business disruption to reduce dissatisfaction. The business continuity plan includes a list of contacts, templates for press release and social media posts for a quick communication both internally and externally
  • The business continuity plan would speed up communication during crisis and would ensure that all your contacts are kept on track
  • Creating a business continuity plan theoretically will not help. They need to be put into action for improvements before a  disaster occurs
  • Regular awareness training sessions are required so that your employees would understand their roles and responsibilities in responding to the disruptions.

How Can a Business Plan for Catastrophe?

Understanding Business Continuity infographic - Leap ManagedIt

93% of companies without Disaster Recovery who suffer a major data disaster are out of business within one year

How Long Business Survive Without Data?

Data is an atomic particle of a business. Data holds all the necessary information to achieve your organizational objectives. It is one of the biggest assets in a business as it helps in delivering tailored products and also in streamlining the operations of the business.

When your business has to go through any unexpected situations the chances of data loss is high. Survival of a business without data is difficult. Henceforth, it is always advisable to maintain a proper backup of all your data. It can help in getting your business back with the guidance of the business continuity plan.

It is vital that business should run seamlessly without the situation of downtime due to human errors. For this, business should keep in-line with the latest technologies and regular updates of the software/plugins. It must also ensure that all the streamlining processes within the business are performing securely.

Whom Should Business Contact For Help?

Businesses are outsourcing professional IT service to providers who take care of their operations and functionalities in the IT department. Hence, business owners should ensure that outsourced service providers can produce a business continuity plan along with other services.
Not all IT service providers offer their support or plan to get back your business after a crisis. There are service providers who take care of all the requirements of the IT department. They also include the preparation of business continuity plans at times of downtime.

Businesses  choose providers like LEAP Managed IT, who deliver business continuity plans along with other IT services. You can check out a case study of how LEAP Managed IT has helped First United Methodist Church to overcome their situation.

Hence, it is advisable to look for IT service providers who can be supportive even during your downtime.

Get Your Business Continuity Plan Today

If you haven’t prepared your business continuity plan – don’t delay. Preparing a business continuity plan will help you with faster recovery. This will create confidence in your team that the organization is taking up effective steps to respond to the disruptions.

Are you looking for expert guidance for preparing a business continuity plan for your IT department? Visit our website, LEAP Managed IT. We can help you with the best solutions by understanding your needs and business. Also, we handle Managed I.T, phone, Process Automation and more. Like us on Facebook and get more ridiculously helpful tips for your business.

To know more about LEAP Managed IT, check out this video.

Network and Cyber Security Assessment

Cyber threats are continuously evolving, hence, security assessment has become a crucial component in a business’s risk management plan. Performing security assessments would help your business in identifying how secure your business is, the threats that could affect your security, and also ways to prevent it from sophisticated attacks.

In this article, we, Indianapolis LEAP Managed IT will be sharing some information about the network and cyber security assessment and why to run a security assessment in your business.

The average cost of a data breach in 2021 was 4.24 million dollars, and this number is predicted to rise in 2022

What is a Network and Cyber Security Assessment?

Network Security Assessment

A network assessment is all about reviewing your organization’s network security measures. The assessment helps in finding out the security vulnerabilities that could cause harm to your system and even expose sensitive information about your business. This helps in protecting the data flow over the network and also secure data by identifying any potential threats both internal and external to your organization.

Cisco data estimates that distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks will grow to 15.4 million by 2023

Cyber Security Assessment

A cyber security assessment is capable of identifying the data that could be affected by cyber attacks and also identifies the risks that could affect the data. The assessment should be conducted within the organization’s objectives, as it is capable of detecting the network’s weakness. Furthermore, it would help in taking security measures to mitigate them. The cyber security assessment is an ongoing process that keeps evaluating and suggesting required threat control measures. It continuously monitors, reviews the risk detected area, and keeps detecting the risk that occurred in the context of the organization whenever it occurs.

Differences and Types of Network and Cyber Security Assessment

Network and Cyber security may sound similar, but they aren’t. Check out some basic differences  to help get a better understanding,

Network Security Assessment Cyber Security Assessment
  • It is considered to be the subset of cyber security
  • It is considered to be the subset of information security
  • Protects any data in the network domain
  • Protects any data in the cyber domain
  • Strikes against Trojans
  • Strikes against cyber crimes and frauds
  • Protection from DOS (Denial-Of-Service) attacks
  • Protection from cyber attacks
  • Ensures to protect transit data
  • Ensures to protect entire digital data

Types of Assessment in Network Security

The two types of network security assessments are,

Vulnerability Assessment – this test evaluates the risks in the software system, reducing the probability of the threats. The vulnerability assessment would help in protecting the system from unauthorized access. It scans for vulnerabilities and reports potential exposures.

Penetration Testing – this is also known as a pen test, where an authorized simulated cyber attack is performed on a computer system to check its security. Here, the testers would try out a variety of attacks to evaluate whether the business is capable of withstanding it.

Network and Cyber Security Advantages - LeapManagedIT
Network and Cyber Security Advantages – LeapManagedIT

Cyber Security Frameworks

The two cyber security frameworks are as follows,

NIST Cyber Security Framework – this has been developed with a collaboration of government sectors and private sectors and is commonly used by companies in the United States. The framework has been designed with the intention to help businesses that are handling critical information, and most of the enterprises add this up to their security efforts.

ISO27000 – this framework has been developed by the International Organization for Standards and is applicable for both corporation’s internal and third-party vendors as well. This framework is a dynamic document that is continuously updated with new information and provides proper guidance.

The cyber security framework also includes,

  • HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This sets guidelines for transferring healthcare information.
  • Homeland Security Act – The Federal Cybersecurity Law for government entities that ensures the security of their systems and data.
  • PCI-DSS – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This is to ensure that companies that collect card details from users maintain a secure environment.
  • CMMC – The cyber security Maturity Model Certification. This requires defense contractors to undergo a cyber security assessment to evaluate their level of security.
  • GDPR – The General Data Protection Regulation. This EU law sets guidelines for collecting sensitive information from users in the EU regions.
Additional tip,

Eliminate IT frustrations and run your business smoothly. LEAP Managed IT can aid Indiana businesses with their IT Master Plan. Check out the video for more details.

Security Assessment – Why Do You Need to Conduct?

Be observant in detecting/identifying network vulnerabilities in your business before they get targeted by cyber attackers. Let’s see why a business needs to conduct security assessments?

  • Make sure all the sensitive information is secure in your environment
  • Ensure that your business meets compliance requirements
  • Conducting regular risk assessments
  • Regular update on cyber security policies
  • Identify areas of weakness
  • Look for opportunities to grow security protection

Network and Cyber Security Assessment – Which One Should You Look For?

Now, you have an understanding of the difference between network and cyber security assessment. Henceforth, security assessments are an important part of any business’s overall cyber defense strategy. This would help in providing valuable information that will help you understand how secure your organization is, and take steps to ensure its continued protection.

If you are aiming at protecting your business then, both network and cyber security assessments are essential. Further, it will help you to understand how vulnerable your business is to attacks, as well as, how much damage those attacks could cause.

Are you looking for expert guidance on managed services to establish an outstanding performance in your IT department? Visit our website, LEAP Managed IT. We can help you with the best solutions by understanding your needs and business.

In addition, we also handle Managed I.T, phone, Process Automation, and more. Like us on Facebook and get more ridiculously helpful tips for your business.

To know more about LEAP Managed IT, check out this video.

Understanding VoIP And It’s Basics

To get a phone number for your business, VoIP is the most efficient way when compared to the traditional phone. There are several providers in the market, it is essential to understand and get to know what is VoIP how it works for your business?

Experts from LEAP Managed IT are here to help. This article shares some basic and essential information that will help guide you.

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that enables one to make and receive phone calls through the Internet instead of the traditional way. In other words, it is an internet-based phone technology that allows you to make and receive calls instead of using traditional phone lines. Thus,  VoIP allows you to make and receive business calls from your laptop, tablet, and even compatible office phone sets.

Furthermore, it is cost-effective for both domestic and international  calls because all calls are made over the internet, either using a SIP, a compatible desk phone or a calling app. Best of all,  it offers advanced phone features, including call waiting, call routing, caller tones, auto-attendant, multiple phone numbers and more.

How does it VOIP work?

A VoIP phone system uses your internet connection instead of a traditional landline or mobile network to make phone calls. Over your broadband connection, a VoIP system converts analogue voice signals into digital signals.

Here, your voice is converts into a digital signal, compresses, and sends it over the internet with Voice over IP. In other words, the call between all participants is set up by a service provider. Then, the digital data is then uncompressed on the receiving end. Thus, resulting in the sound you hear through your headset or speakerphone. To connect calls to other telephone networks, a VoIP server is used.

A desk phone and a SIP server, which is usually a VoIP service provider, are typical VoIP configurations. It performs even better than a traditional landline phone because it provides far more features than analogue phone service ever could. Additionally, your data is securely stored in the cloud as it runs over the internet.

Pros and Cons of VoIP

Pros

  • VoIP is extremely cost-effective , pay only for internet connection
  • International calls are also free
  • Rich features – offers a wide range of features, from call transfer, blocking, caller ID, voice mail to remote management, automatic call distribution, and interactive voice recognition
  • Collaboration – is easily integrates with other systems to help employees collaborate via voice, video, web conferencing, or instant messaging, typically via a single user interface
  • Increase productivity – Employees have the flexibility to use communication systems remotely and access data and networks anytime, anywhere

Cons

  • Must have a reliable internet connection
  • Might face latency and jitter if there are any other connection issues other than speed
  • Difficult to pinpoint the origin of the call

Why Do Businesses Use VoIP?

Businesses have recognized the advantages and benefits of using VoIP over traditional telecom carriers. As a result, VoIP has become the backbone of most modern business phone systems. Thus, it is now the preferred phone solution for a variety of industries.

VoIP for Businesses – Leap Managed IT

VoIP and It’s Features

The main reason companies are using to VoIP phone systems is the wide range of communication features that come with them.

Most importantly, look for basic features that most virtual service providers have:

  • Call Forwarding – calls are forwarded to the selected number
  • Call Transfer – calls are transferred to different departments and offices
  • Custom Greetings – Automatic replies to greet customers and provide information about their business
  • Call Log -Track Call Activity
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – Automatic response to navigate callers and direct them to the right department through a set of menus
  • Conference call – Meeting with other departments and offices
  • Time Zone Routing – Routes a call to a specific number at a specific time of the day
  • Email from SMS, Email from Voicemail – Receive a copy of text and voicemail in your inbox.

How to Choose the Best VoIP Service Provider for Your Business?

Implementation of VoIP to your business would help with increased productivity. Partnering with a trusted VoIP provider guarantees a reliable setup with flexibility.

Hence, there are several providers in the market and do consider the following factors when choosing the best VoIP phone system,

  •  Initial and monthly cost
  •  Reliability and availability
  •  Customer service availability and quality
  •  Company longevity and reputation
  •  Ease handling of the products and services
  •  Customer reviews

Are you looking for expert guidance on choosing the right provider and its implementation? Visit our website, LEAP Managed IT. Similarly, we can help you with the best solutions by understanding your needs. Also, we handle Managed I.T, phone, Process Automation and more.

Lastly, to know more about LEAP Managed IT checkout the below video,

 

Two-Factor Authentication – Second Layer Security For Your Business

It is critical to add an extra layer of security to your business in this digital world, where cyberattacks are common. Two-factor authentication is the industry standard for protecting your business from cybercriminals. Even if a hacker manages to crack your login credentials, they won’t be able to access your accounts if you use 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) correctly and in the right combination.

80% of security breaches can be prevented using two-factor authentication

In this article, we are going to share with you all about two-factor authentication along with the features of secure password management software, which could be an additional bonus to protect your business. As cyberattacks and data breaches are recurring, LEAP Managed IT strongly recommends using two-factor authentication in order to run a safe and secure business.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication is something beyond just a username and password. It acts as an extra security layer and strengthens access by verifying your digital identity.

There are three types of two-factor authentication factors,

  • Additional login credentials which only the account owner knows – it could be some security questions, a passphrase, PIN, or a geometrical shape to unlock.
  • Devices that the account holder owns would receive additional login credentials. The authentication application would generate a 6-digit code or a code sent through text message
  • Biometric login credentials that are unique to the account holder – could be fingerprints, facial recognition, retina scans, voice recognition, and more similar biometric credentials

A 2019 report from Microsoft concluded that 2FA works, blocking 99.9% of automated attacks.

Why is Two-Factor Authentication Important?

Two Factor Authentication Importance - LEAPManagedIT

To improve cybersecurity while accessing accounts and other online services, it requires strong authentication. As usernames and passwords are less secure, they can be easily hacked. It can also be used across multiple accounts once stolen.

Henceforth, password-only security is vulnerable to sophisticated cyberattacks and requires an additional layer of security. This will keep your company safe from hackers. Using two-factor authentication with a combination of authentication factors can help you verify your digital identity before giving you access to your accounts.

When to use a Two-Factor Authentication?

It is essential to remember that you must not compromise on the security features of your business, as it is the only aspect that would develop trust among your customers. As you are considering security as the main aspect, it is critical to implement two-factor authentication to your business. This would help in preventing your business and its data from cyberattacks. Though 2FA cannot completely protect your business, it can save your business from unauthorized users.

Henceforth, make it an essential requirement for your business to gain customers’ trust efficiently.

80% of the security breaches can be prevented by 2FA

How can a Business use Two-Factor Authentication?

Cyber security attacks can affect businesses and organizations of any size. Your company could be a target simply because an attacker sees it to be convenient. Customers may be at risk if you provide services that allow them to log in with single authentication and access their data. Their accounts can be a target by stealing passwords during a phishing attack.

Thus, 2FA can provide a strong line of defense for both your company and your customers, safeguarding access to both systems and accounts. When your employees or customers log into a business system or their account on your website, they use a username and password combination, which is a normal procedure. On the implementation of 2FA, it would ask them for additional information to verify their identity.

If you are serious about cybersecurity and trying to take initiatives for preventing cyber attacks, two-factor authentication should be your standard policy despite your size.

Let us have a look at some popular methods of implementing two-factor authentication, these methods are much useful for both your business and your employees,

SMS

This is the most popular approach among the 2FA. Here, a digit code would be sent to the phone number (registered) via SMS, which the user has to enter to verify their identity. This can be set up easily as it doesn’t require any installation. But, if the phone is missing or not connecting, the user will not be able to get the 2FA code while trying to log in to their accounts.

Email

In this, the security code (OTP) would be sent to the registered email ID, which the user can use to log in to the account. This is a cost-effective approach but, it doesn’t work if the email is not delivered or if it falls in spam.

TOTP Using an Authenticator App

This is another phone based approach of 2FA. Here, the authenticator application generates a code based on the secret key. Google authenticator is one of the most popular tools for this type of 2FA approach. Implementing this type of authentication, the site would show a QR code containing the secret key. The user has to scan the QR, after scanning, the app would generate a 6-digit code for every 30 seconds. By entering any one of the codes, the user will be able to log in to their accounts.

Push Based 2FA

This type of 2FA approach would notify the user if someone is trying to log in to your account. The approach would notify the user along with the estimated location of the login attempt further, the user can deny or approve the login. This method is quite resistant to phishing attacks and as it also detects the location of the login attempt, it helps users to identify in case of any unauthorized login attempt.

Every method here has its own advantages and disadvantages. Businesses can use 2FA to protect their customers’ accounts, and employees can use it for protecting the organization’s data from unauthorized users.

Safe and secure software to manage passwords

There are several software options in the digital marketing industry for securing and managing passwords. One of the most popular is LastPass.

LastPass is a simplified password manager and a tool for protecting the identity online. It is cross-platform password management that uses military-grade encryption with a zero-knowledge policy. It also offers multiple 2FA along with biometric logins.

Below are some security features of LastPass are,

Password Manager

This takes care of creating, memorizing and entering passwords. Store your usernames and passwords in LastPass and automatically enter them on your online accounts. This feature allows you to store personal information, fill in and save credit card details/address, and safely share your credentials to your team.

Password Vault

This would contain all the information that you have saved to the password manager. It is safe for your online valuables. You can launch websites, edit logins, add notes, share credentials, and more using this feature. It also allows importing websites or adding them manually to LastPass. Every time you open the website to log in, LastPass will capture the respective password to log in.

Password Generator

It is the online password generator using which you can generate random and secure passwords. This even allows you to generate personalized passwords.

Dark Web Monitoring

This gives you an overview of the health and security of the stored accounts. It would monitor, alert and protect your accounts from security breaches.

Security Dashboard

Here, you can update weak and reused passwords. You can view and improve your security score. Additionally, monitor your email address, and send alerts whenever the data is compromising during attacks.

LastPass also offers some special administrative features for businesses, like password sharing, admin commands, integration with directories, and federated connections.

Hence, you can make use of LastPass to have secure management of passwords and to run a safe and secure business.

Secure Your Business Today

Are you not sure about where to start with two-factor authentication? Then, simply think through the ways your secure information is compromising during a cyberattack.  It could be via your email, VPN, or even the cloud services that you are using for your business.

Lastly, add the “implementation of 2FA” to your checklist at the time of developing your security plan.  The market has a vast supply of 2FA solutions. Before you decide, talk to security experts in Indianapolis like LEAP Managed IT to get the best solutions for your business.

To know more about LEAP Managed IT checkout the below video,